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Rethinking Islam in the Contemporary World

Carl W. Ernst


Recipient of the 2004 Bashrahil Prize for Outstanding Cultural Achievement in the Humanities

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1. Islam in the Eyes of the West
2. Approaching Islam in Terms of Religion
3. The Sacred Sources of Islam
4. Ethics and Life in the World
5. Spirituality in Practice
6. Postscript: Reimagining Islam in the 21st Century
Suggested Further Reading

About the Author

Carl W. Ernst is a W.R. Kenan Distinguished Professor of Religious Studies at University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill and Director of the Carolina Center for the Study of Middle East and Muslim Civilizations at UNC Global. He is author of several books including Rethinking Islam in the Contemporary World (EUP, 2004), Sufi Martyrs of Love (Palgrave, 2002) and Teachings of Sufism (Shambhala Publications, 1999).


A major contribution to explaining the faith of Muslims to people in the West.
- Professor Francis Robinson, Royal Holloway, University of London
It works splendidly as an introduction that can be used both in the classroom and for the general public.
- Professor Michael Sells, Haverford College, PA
In seeking to restore a sense of proportion and balance to the image of Islam for his Western readers, Ernst gives proper weight to the layers of mystical humanism, philosophical speculation and hermeneutical flexibility that are no less a part of the Islamic tradition than the legacies of conquest and militancy.
A useful and thought-provoking addition by a specialist in the study of Islam. It is full of significant insights … The book presents an interesting perspective for rethinking how contemporary Islam is taught in undergraduate level courses in the West and it is sufficiently rich in detail to provide a starting point for further reading.